Posts Tagged 'Pteranodon'

Reaching out

More pterosaurs, and this time a whole Pteranodon wing (and a few bits fo the shoulder too). Even without a scale bar you can get an impression of how large this is as it reaches across the entire cabinet and of course hence the split is the glass. Its about 2 m or so across and as such was from an animal or more like 4 m in wingspan.

Incidentally, pterosaur wingspans are generally calculated by simply doubling the length of one wing (humerus, ulna, wing metacarpal and the wing phalanges). This might sound like an underestimate (after all, the body is in there for starters), but in fact not. Since the arm is held somewhat crooked, and the wing finger was not held at 90 degrees to the torso, this accounts nicely for the lack of the chest. At the very least it’s quick and convenient and probably generally quite accurate, and of course it allows us to use isolated wings etc. to compare them to other, more complete, remains.

 

Pteranodon flying low

There are far too few good pterosaur mounts in museums around the world, but admittedly with generally good reason. They are hard to model, there are few casts around, the interesting ones like Pteranodon are really quite big, and really you want them flying. That means mounting stuff on the ceiling which is difficult and even dangerous (well, public safety at least becomes an issue). And of course, much as I might loathe to admit it, they are just not as popular as dinosaurs. Still, there has been a slow but steady increase in the number of mounts like these turning up which is a good thing.

This particular one is in Eichstaett, and lovely it is too (thought the black Quetzalcoatlus above it is not half as nice). The mount is actually not far off the ground which make it easy to get a good look at it (I have seen an Anhanguera mounted about 5m off the ground in Frankfurt and you can barely see what is obviously a nice model) but the downside to this is that it’s very hard to get far enough away to get the whole thing in frame, as the last photo shows.


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